The Beatles: The Fab Four; probably the most successful band in history, with the highest selling albums. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are probably the biggest icons of rock music of all time. Though they reigned the music world for just 10 years, from 1960 -1970, their music lasts forever. I had a tough time keeping this list so short!
1. I want to Hold your Hand:
It is THE song that sparked off Beatlemania in the U.S. When released in 1963, the song was top of the charts for five weeks and remained in the top 50 for another 16 weeks. In the U.S. charts, it was no.1 for 5 weeks. IT became their top grossing single the world over. This was also their first song recorded with the 4 track technology.
2. Hard Day’s Night:
The song featured in the album of the same name, and there was also a movie made starring the Liverpool boys with that title. In 1964 this single topped the UK and U.S. charts for a few weeks. The title came from Ringo’s comment in an interview. He said, ‘it’s been a hard day.’ and he looked up and saw it was dark, and said, ‘night!’ A pulsating number, sure to get your feet tapping.
3. Let it Be:
Released in 1970, just days after their tragic split, this song is thought provoking and mellifluous; a pleasure to listen to any time. They were going through tumultuous times within the band, and the lyrics reflect this.
4. The Long and Winding Road:
This song was the last no.1 song on the U.S. charts in 1970. A ballad written by McCartney, the song reflects the strained relationships with his band members and how much they had gone through together. The melancholic tune is set to the piano, and pulls at your heartstrings.
5. Eleanor Rigby:
This song is about lonely people and how nobody cares even if they are dead. Though McCartney chose the name randomly, the bizarre co-incidence is that there is actually a grave of an Eleanor Rigby in St.Peter’s church, Liverpool, and she lived a lonely life.
‘Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, oh I believe in Yesterday’… how we all would like to live in a world without stress and problems, is perfectly portrayed in this iconic song from the Beatles, which is one of the most covered songs in the history of music recording. In the late 1990s, it was voted the best pop song ever in separate polls by the BBC in UK, and MTV and Rolling stone magazine in the U.S.
7. Across the Universe:
This was written by John Lennon and the words, ‘words are flowing out like endless rain…’ came into his mind after he heard his wife talking endlessly about some matter! You can clearly see or rather, hear, the Indian influence on the Beatles in this song; the use of the Sitar, and the words, Jai Gurudeva, Om… IT’s a very philosophical, poetic song, and Lennon considered it the best he’d written.
8. Hey Jude:
Written originally as ‘Hey Jules’ to comfort Julian Lennon about John and Cynthia’s divorce, it evolved into Hey Jude. It was the group’s first single from Apple Records. This 7 minute song lasted 9 weeks at the top of the U.S. charts, setting a new record. Over 8 million copies of this song are believed to have been sold.
9. A day in the Life:
Like most great creative works, this came to be acknowledged as a masterpiece only after Lennon’s death. A great song that was inspired by news headlines and Lennon’s life.
10. Strawberry Fields Forever:
Written by Lennon, this song sprung from his memories of playing in a Salvation Army home called ‘Strawberry Fields’. Lennon was taking to drugs with his marriage falling apart and the strained relationship among the band members.
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